Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cobitidae

Scientific Name: Botia kubotai
Species Authority: Kottelat, 2004
Common Name(s):
English Kubota's Clown Loach, Polka-Dot Loach

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-03-01
Assessor(s): Vidthayanon, C.
Reviewer(s): Kottelat, M. & Allen, D.J.
Contributor(s): Fisher, J.
Information on the species' trade, habitat and population trends is needed before the species can be assessed. Wild populations were utilised heavily for the aquarium trade in the past; presence of the species in the trade has declined in recent years however the reason for this is uncertain, but is most likely due to political instability in Myanmar in this area, and the species might be threatened if its popularity returns. It is assessed as Data Deficient until more information is available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Known from the Ataran River basin in the Lower Salween basin; eastern Myanmar and western Thailand (border area). Appears to be endemic to headwaters of the Salween River basin around the border between Myanmar and Thailand. The type specimens were collected from the Megathat Chaung (Megathat stream) in the upper Ataran (known as the Kasat in Thai) River basin, Kayin/Karen State, Myanmar and another population was later discovered in the Hanthayaw River (Suriya in Thai), Tak Province, Thailand (Seriously Fish 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); Thailand
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information available.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits streams and tributary rivers with sandy and gravel, rocky bottoms. Lives in small schools.

Dominant presence at Khone falls during dry season, exhibit small peak in beginning of rainy season. (Baran et al. 2005).
Systems: Freshwater
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Popular in the aquarium trade, however numbers found in trade have declined, most likely due to political instability. Specimens in trade are largely imported from Myanmar (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species was popular in the aquarium trade over the last ten years and heavily harvested from its habitats. Recently its popularity has decreased and it is only occasionally found in trade. Protection of its habitats (watershed forests, streams, and waterfalls) is uncertain. Habitat and population trends need to be monitored.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Monitoring of habitat, population, and exploitation trends is needed.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Baran, E., Baird, I.G., and Cans, G. 2005. Fisheries bioecology at the Khone Falls (Mekong River, Southern Laos). WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Seriously Fish. 2011. Botia kubotai - Polka-Dot Loach. Available at:

Citation: Vidthayanon, C. 2012. Botia kubotai. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T180972A1683769. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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